Dr. Zoran Aleksic sat down with Go!, the travel magazine, for a Q&A on travelling.
EDITOR: What is your earliest travel memory?
DR: A boat trip across the Adriatic Sea with my family. I thought we were crossing the Pacific Ocean, but in reality it was 6 hours on a very slow ferry with my imagination spinning out of control.
EDITOR: The best place you’ve ever visited?
DR: This is a difficult one. As we all know it is not only the beauty of the place, but the company, mood, etc. I cannot avoid mentioning Buenos Aires. We walked for hours. I find it to be a mix of Rome and Paris, but without the large ego of those cities.
Saying all of this I can also clearly remember my first visit to Cape Town. It was a Friday afternoon, sitting on a lovely verandah high up in Camps Bay, with a glass of L’Ormarin sauvignon blanc, looking at the sun set and thinking I will be able to see, if I strain a bit, South America on the horizon. It was unreal. That is when I decided to move to South Africa.
EDITOR: What is your number one travel tip?
DR: Travel light and do not make too hectic plans with a long list on your itinerary; otherwise you will constantly chase your schedule and not enjoy your trip.
EDITOR: Do you plan your trips in detail or just go with the flow?
DR: I never used to plan, but then you end up hitting crowded tourist spots and find yourself having a meal at a over-priced restaurant.
Now, before I travel, I page through the Michelin restaurant guide books for recommendations. It does not need to have a Michelin star, it can just be an affordable, local spot. I like to make use of these Michelin books, as prices are listed, so there are no anxious moments before the bill arrives. The recommended places are also usually not too touristy and makes you feel like you are one of the best informed locals at your travel destination.
EDITOR: Which other destinations in Africa would you like to visit?
DR: Certainly the vanilla farms in Madagascar. Also, Lalibela, a town in northern Ethiopia famous for monolithic rock-cut churches.
EDITOR: What music do you listen to on the road?
DR: I once sailed to a tiny place in Greece, called Fiskardo, on the northern tip of the island, Cephalonia (you may recall the movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin - the movie was shot there) and after one rough day on the Mediterranean, we walked into a little bar in the port; here they played a fantastic mix of music from Cuba, Spain, Italy… oldies. Just a mix of easy going background music you can drive, work and chill with. I asked the bartender, nicely of course, and ended up loading 4 gigs of his music on a flash drive and now I often still listen to it. What’s great about the playlist, is that it is so long that you cannot guess what the next song will be.
EDITOR: What’s on your bucket list?
DR: Ohh… it is so long. I have to start making a plan to live a healthy and active lifestyle, so that I would have enough time to go through the list.
Some of them include: Go and see orchid farms in the mountains of Thailand, see the Tokyo Fish market tuna auction at early morning hours, to spend 7 days with old traditional leather artisans in one of the Italian families who would produce for brands like Dunhill, Mulberry, etc. To see the cheese auction in Holland, to be at the French Open Tennis finals, to spend time at one of the Swiss watch makers, like IWC and admire their precision work (being an eye surgeon myself, I think I could relate to them), wild salmon fishing in Norway, to drive a big digger at a construction site (preferably without any expensive obstacles around me) and maybe drive a F1 car around Imola, Italy… if I could fit into one of them (I am 195 cm tall, weight - undisclosed). Convince one of my friends to take me up in a military supersonic jet, but I need to work on this convincing a bit harder. The list goes on and on…